How to Clean Decorative Pillows at Home

Decorative pillows can add style and comfort to any living space, but they also require regular cleaning to maintain their appearance and hygiene. In this article, we will explore the essential steps and tips for effectively cleaning decorative pillows at home. From understanding different materials and their cleaning requirements to using appropriate methods for spot cleaning and deep cleaning, we will provide all the information you need to keep your decorative pillows looking fresh and beautiful.

As we delve into the various aspects of cleaning decorative pillows, it’s important to recognize the significance of maintaining their cleanliness. Decorative pillows not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of a room but also serve as functional accessories for relaxation and comfort.

By keeping them clean, you can prolong their lifespan and create a healthier environment in your home. Whether you have throw pillows made of delicate fabrics or resilient materials, knowing how to clean them properly is essential for preserving their beauty and functionality.

Throughout this article, we will discuss different types of decorative pillows, the tools and supplies needed for cleaning, as well as specific techniques for spot cleaning minor stains and spills. We will also address the importance of proper drying techniques and offer maintenance tips for keeping your decorative pillows fresh on a regular basis.

Additionally, we will provide insights into special considerations when dealing with unique pillow materials and potential challenges in the cleaning process. So if you’re ready to learn how to clean your decorative pillows at home effectively, read on for valuable tips and guidelines.

Types of Decorative Pillows

Decorative pillows come in a variety of materials, each with their own unique cleaning requirements. Understanding the different types of decorative pillows and how to properly clean them is essential for maintaining their appearance and longevity.

Cotton and Linen Pillows

Cotton and linen decorative pillows are popular choices due to their durability and breathability. However, they can be prone to staining and may require regular cleaning. To clean cotton or linen pillows, start by removing the pillow cover and checking the care label for any specific instructions. These materials can typically be hand-washed or machine-washed on a gentle cycle using mild detergent. Allow the pillows to air dry to prevent shrinkage.

Velvet and Silk Pillows

Velvet and silk decorative pillows add a touch of luxury to any space, but they require special care when it comes to cleaning. Spot-clean velvet pillows using a mixture of water and mild detergent, being careful not to scrub too hard as this can damage the delicate fabric.

Silk pillows should be gently hand-washed with a mild detergent, taking care not to wring or twist the fabric. Both velvet and silk pillows should be air-dried away from direct sunlight.

Faux Fur and Fleece Pillows

Faux fur and fleece decorative pillows provide warmth and texture to a room, but they can also trap dirt and dust over time. To clean faux fur or fleece pillows, use a vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment to remove any surface debris. For minor stains, spot-clean with mild detergent or use a fabric-safe stain remover according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Understanding how to clean decorative pillows at home starts with identifying the type of material used in each pillow. By following the specific cleaning requirements for different materials, you can effectively maintain the appearance and cleanliness of your decorative pillows for years to come.

Preparing for Cleaning

When it comes to cleaning decorative pillows at home, having the right tools and supplies on hand is essential for achieving the best results. Before you begin the cleaning process, it’s important to gather everything you’ll need to ensure that your decorative pillows are cleaned effectively and safely. Here are some key tools and supplies to have on hand:

  • Mild detergent or upholstery cleaner: Depending on the material of your decorative pillows, you may need a specific type of detergent or cleaner. Be sure to check the care label for any special instructions.
  • Soft-bristled brush or sponge: For spot cleaning and gently scrubbing stains, a soft-bristled brush or sponge can be incredibly useful.
  • Lint roller: To remove any dust, pet hair, or lint from your decorative pillows, a lint roller can be a handy tool to have on hand.
  • Clean cloths or towels: Having clean cloths or towels available will allow you to blot up spills and assist with cleaning without causing further damage to the fabric.
  • Vacuum cleaner with upholstery attachment: If your decorative pillows have removable covers, using a vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment can help remove dust and debris before cleaning.

In addition to these basic tools and supplies, it’s also important to consider the specific requirements of your decorative pillows. For example, if your pillow covers are made of delicate fabrics such as silk or velvet, you may need specialized cleaning products or methods. Always check the care label on your decorative pillows for any specific instructions or restrictions when it comes to cleaning.

By gathering the necessary tools and supplies before beginning the cleaning process, you’ll be better prepared to tackle any stains or spills while ensuring that your decorative pillows are cleaned in a way that preserves their quality and appearance.

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Spot Cleaning

To start the spot cleaning process, begin by checking the care label on your decorative pillow for any specific instructions or restrictions. Some pillows may be dry clean only, while others may be machine washable. If the care label allows for spot cleaning, gently blot the stained area with a mild detergent and a clean cloth. Avoid rubbing the stain, as this can cause it to spread or set deeper into the fabric.

For particularly stubborn stains, consider using a specialized stain remover that is safe for the specific material of your decorative pillow. Always test any cleaning solution on a small, inconspicuous area of the pillow first to ensure that it does not cause discoloration or damage. After applying the stain remover according to the manufacturer’s instructions, blot the area again with a clean cloth until the stain is lifted.

Once you have successfully removed the stain from your decorative pillow, allow it to air dry completely before placing it back on display. It’s important to check that there are no residual traces of cleaning products left behind, as these can attract dirt and dust. With these spot cleaning techniques in mind, you can effectively maintain the beauty of your decorative pillows at home without having to resort to professional dry cleaning services.

Spot Cleaning TechniquesInstructions
Blotting StainsGently blot stains with mild detergent and clean cloth
Specialized Stain RemoverUse safe stain remover for specific material and test on small area first
Drying ProcessAir dry completely and check for residual cleaning product

Deep Cleaning

Machine Washable Pillows

For decorative pillows made from materials such as cotton, polyester, or synthetic blends, machine washing is a practical and effective method for deep cleaning. Before tossing the pillows into the washing machine, be sure to check the care label for any specific instructions or limitations. It’s recommended to wash two pillows at a time to maintain balance in the machine and ensure thorough cleaning.

Hand Washing Delicate Pillows

Pillows made from delicate fabrics such as silk, wool, or embellished with delicate beadwork may require special attention and hand washing. Use a gentle detergent and lukewarm water to clean these pillows. Gently agitate the water to remove dirt and stains, then carefully rinse out all soap residue.

Deodorizing Decorative Pillows

To eliminate odors from decorative pillows, sprinkle them with baking soda before laundering. This will help absorb any unpleasant smells. Additionally, adding a cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle can also act as a deodorizer and leave your pillows smelling fresh.

By using these appropriate methods for deep cleaning decorative pillows at home, you can extend their lifespan while keeping them looking and smelling like new. No matter what material your decorative pillows are made of, it is important to always refer to the care label for specific cleaning instructions and recommendations. Regular maintenance will also prevent heavy soiling and make deep cleaning less daunting in the long run.

Drying Decorative Pillows

After thoroughly cleaning decorative pillows, it is essential to ensure that they are dried properly in order to maintain their integrity and appearance. Improper drying techniques can result in misshapen or damaged pillows, so it is important to follow proper methods for drying decorative pillows at home.

Proper Techniques for Drying Decorative Pillows

  • Air drying: One of the most gentle methods for drying decorative pillows is to allow them to air dry. After cleaning, remove any excess water by gently pressing on the pillows with a clean towel. Then, place the pillows in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Fluff and rotate the pillows periodically to ensure even drying.
  • Machine drying: Some types of decorative pillows may be suitable for machine drying. Before placing them in the dryer, check the care label to ensure that it is safe to do so. Use a low heat setting and add a few clean tennis balls or dryer balls to help fluff the pillows as they dry. Periodically check on the pillows to prevent overheating or damage.
  • Spot drying: For delicate or ornate decorative pillows, spot drying may be preferable. Use a hairdryer on a cool setting to gently dry specific areas of the pillow, taking care not to apply direct heat for an extended period of time.

It is important to remember that each decorative pillow may have specific care instructions based on its material and construction. By following these proper techniques for drying, you can help preserve the integrity and appearance of your decorative pillows while ensuring that they are fully dry before returning them to use.

Tips for Preserving Decorative Pillows During Drying

  1. Always check the care label for specific instructions before proceeding with any drying method.
  2. Avoid using high heat during machine drying, as this can damage delicate materials and embellishments.
  3. When air-drying, be patient and allow the decorative pillows ample time to dry completely before putting them back into use.

By utilizing these proper techniques for drying decorative pillows and following maintenance tips, you can effectively preserve their integrity and cleanliness over time while ensuring that they continue to enhance your living space with their beauty.

Maintenance Tips

Decorative pillows are a beautiful addition to any living space, but they can quickly become dirty and worn if not properly maintained. Regular cleaning and maintenance are essential for preserving the quality and appearance of decorative pillows. Here’s how to clean decorative pillows at home and keep them looking fresh for years to come.

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First, it’s important to note that different types of decorative pillows require different cleaning methods. For example, throw pillows with removable covers may be machine washable, while delicate or embellished pillows may need to be spot cleaned by hand. It’s crucial to identify the materials of your decorative pillows and follow the appropriate cleaning instructions for each.

For machine washable decorative pillows, always use a gentle cycle with cold water and a mild detergent. Avoid using bleach or harsh chemicals that could damage the fabric or colors. After washing, thoroughly rinse the pillows to remove any soap residue. Then, either air dry or tumble dry on low heat until completely dry.

For non-machine washable decorative pillows, spot cleaning is the best option for removing stains and spills without compromising the integrity of the fabric or embellishments. Always test any cleaning products on a small, inconspicuous area of the pillow first to ensure that it doesn’t cause discoloration or damage.

Proper maintenance is key to keeping decorative pillows clean and fresh on a regular basis. This includes regularly fluffing and rotating the pillows to prevent uneven wear and tear, as well as keeping them out of direct sunlight to minimize fading. Additionally, using pillow protectors or covers can help shield decorative pillows from everyday dust and dirt accumulation.

Types of Decorative PillowsCleaning Requirements
Removable cover throw pillowsMachine washable with gentle cycle
Delicate or embellished pillowsSpot clean by hand; avoid harsh chemicals

Special Considerations

When it comes to cleaning decorative pillows at home, it is essential to consider the unique materials and potential challenges that may arise during the cleaning process. Different types of decorative pillows, such as silk, wool, or beaded pillows, require special care and attention to ensure their longevity and integrity. Understanding how to clean these unique materials effectively is crucial for maintaining the beauty and quality of decorative pillows.

For silk decorative pillows, it is important to use a gentle cleaning solution and avoid harsh chemicals that can damage the delicate fabric. Use a mild detergent or a mixture of water and vinegar to spot clean any stains on silk pillows.

Additionally, hand washing or using a delicate cycle in the washing machine can help preserve the texture and sheen of silk materials. When drying silk decorative pillows, avoid direct sunlight and opt for air drying or using a low heat setting in the dryer.

Wool decorative pillows require special consideration as well, as excessive heat and agitation can cause shrinking and distortion of the material. It is best to spot clean wool pillows with a mild soap solution and gently blot the stained area. When deep cleaning wool decorative pillows, consider using a professional dry cleaning service to ensure proper care for this material. Additionally, when drying wool pillows, reshape them while damp to maintain their original form.

Beaded decorative pillows present their own set of challenges when it comes to cleaning due to the intricate beadwork. Spot clean any soiled areas with a gentle detergent solution and avoid scrubbing or rubbing the beads too vigorously. For deep cleaning, consider seeking professional assistance to preserve the intricate bead detailing without causing damage. Always handle beaded decorative pillows with care during both the cleaning and drying processes.

Understanding the specific requirements for different types of decorative pillow materials is essential in ensuring their proper care and maintenance. By following these guidelines for unique materials such as silk, wool, and beaded decorative pillows, homeowners can effectively clean their decorative pillows at home while preserving their beauty and quality for years to come.


In conclusion, keeping decorative pillows clean is essential for maintaining a healthy and inviting home environment. By understanding the different types of decorative pillows and their specific cleaning requirements, individuals can effectively maintain the beauty and functionality of these items. Whether it’s spot cleaning minor stains or spills, or conducting a deep clean to remove built-up dirt and grime, the proper tools and techniques are crucial for successful cleaning.

Following the outlined steps for preparing, spot cleaning, deep cleaning, and drying decorative pillows will help ensure that they remain in top condition for years to come. Additionally, implementing regular maintenance tips such as vacuuming and fluffing will contribute to a fresh and appealing look for decorative pillows. It’s important to remember that special considerations may arise when dealing with unique materials, but with care and attention, even these challenges can be overcome.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Clean Decorative Pillows That Can’t Be Washed?

Cleaning decorative pillows that can’t be washed requires a gentle approach. Start by removing any dirt or debris with a vacuum cleaner or lint roller. Then, use a fabric-safe cleaner and spot clean the pillow, being careful not to saturate it.

Can You Put Decorative Pillows in the Washing Machine?

It is possible to put some decorative pillows in the washing machine, but it depends on the pillow’s material and construction. Always check the care label for specific washing instructions. If the label allows for machine washing, use a gentle cycle and mild detergent to prevent damage to the pillow.

How Do You Wash Decorative Down Pillows?

When washing decorative down pillows, it’s important to use a front-loading washer or a top-loading agitator-free washer to prevent clumping of the down filling. Use a small amount of mild detergent and wash on a gentle cycle with an extra rinse to ensure all soap is removed.

After washing, tumble dry on low heat with dryer balls or clean tennis balls to help fluff the pillows and evenly redistribute the down filling.

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